Monday, December 18, 2006

Podcasts

Running a linux desktop means you are always a little behind the curve. Actually, this is an advantage. By the time the technologies are fully supported, the technology is mature.

I have always listened to CBC radio during the work day, but it seems to have left me somehow, or my interest have left it. So I started listening to podcasts from various sources. My first attempts were to copy onto an sd card and listen on the palm that i carry all the time. Highly unsatisfactory. So I bought a cheap mp3 player that could use sd cards. Much better, although after a month's use it started acting strange, and AAA batteries are expensive. So I picked up a Zen from Creative, 8 gigs. Luckily the mpt protocol has just matured, and Amarok fully supports it. Very nice. Probably by the time I wear it out, Rockbox will have a port ready for it.

Is there any way to share or publish podcast lists? The top of mine would be Lugradio. At first it sounds like some wierd revival of sorts with incantations of 'Jesus Christ' and other strange things, but after a while your ear tunes to the inflections and between the body function jokes there is good information and opinion. Great fun. I have a young lad working with me and the show had him laughing while proselytizing linux. I don't know if the button down business types would enjoy it.

In the continuing saga of keeping hardware working, Samsung has released a new set of drivers for their printers and scanners. They seem to work, but it is disconcerting to see an installation program install all sorts of versions of libc and the like. Of course the real solution would be to open up their software and allow it to be included in the various printer driver aggregations and sane driver collections. In the meantime they have to come up with some magic that keeps things working over versions of glibc, gcc compiler versions, cups iterations, and whatever else they use, just to keep one small binary working. All of course outside of the system package management, sprinkling who knows what all over the place. From where does this perverse logic come from? What could possibly happen to Samsung if they dared release some printer language specs? Ooh, someone may write a printer driver that actually works, ie. prints and respects the system that it is installed on.

Watching this horrible spector got the juices running. Has anyone written a tool that would build packages for all the distros? And all the versions thereof? I don't know if it would even be possible. The speed of the desktop development may eventually force these people into either giving up or opening their code and allowing the community to handle the distribution. Hopefully the later.


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